The study found that one in five had been hacked on Facebook
Have you ever suspected that your friends are snooping on your Facebook profile behind your back?
Don't worry. You're not being paranoid.
In fact, according to new research by the University of British Columbia in Canada – you're probably right.
The study concluded that 24 per cent – or around one in every five subjects who took part – accessed someone else’s Facebook account without permission.
It also found that 21 per cent had been victims of these "social insider attacks".
The term, defined by the security community, means that attacker knows the victim and gains access to the social media account by physically using the victim’s device – whether it's a smartphone, tablet, laptop or anything else.
The University of British Columbia study surveyed 1,308 adult Facebook users in the United States for the study.
Facebook does not require users re-enter a password to use the app
One of the researchers behind the paper, Ivan Beschastnikh, told Mashable: "We initially wanted to build technical solutions to mitigate these attacks, but we soon discovered that we really did not understand them well.
"So we decided that instead we should carry out an empirical study to understand the attacks better before attempting to prevent them."
Chances are, you've either been the victim of one of these "social insider attacks" – or have seen the repercussions of an attack appear on your News Feed.
Terms like "facejacked", "fraped", or "hacked" are all used to describe the occurrence.
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And while some attacks are harmless – and designed to get a few cheap laughs from friends – some are not.
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According to the researchers, one of the most common social insider attack scenarios is from romantic partners, often motivated by curiosity or even jealousy.
Perpetrators will often target the private messages of the victim, resulting in the intrusions being left undiscovered.
"One recommendation that we make is that Facebook could provide better support for monitoring passive account activity." Mr Beschastnikh added.
"A log that cannot be altered and that records passive actions [such as viewing already-read messages] as well as active actions in the account would (1) allow victims to identify these attacks, and (2) deter potential perpetrators."
Another possible solution for Facebook – and used successfully by a number of mobile apps that store sensitive information – is for the mobile application to have its own passcode, which has to be entered each time the user opens the app.
Some apps also use a fingerprint to secure the mobile application.
Unfortunately, these precautions do not always translate across to laptops or desktop computers.
As a result, logging out of your social media accounts and locking down your phone or laptop when you have finished using them is still probably the best defence.
The findings of the University of British Columbia study can also be applied to other apps like Twitter, instant messaging platforms, and email.
The news comes as Facebook Android users were plagued with app trouble.
Facebook users across the world were left without access to the social media site over the weekend after the Facebook for Android app stopped working.
Users were confronted with the error message that “Facebook has stopped” when attempting to open the app, which appeared to affect Android customers.
Many took to social media in order to vent their frustration, but luckily it seems like there is a fairly simple way to fix your Facebook for Android app.